Earlier this year Jason presented a list of goals for the church for the 2014 year.  One of these goals was to increase our evangelistic efforts.  In one monthís time our gospel meeting with Mike Davis will begin.  In order for our meeting to be successful we need to begin today preparing for it.  While I realize that the church is not a business, we can learn something from looking at successful business models.  No successful business just wings it.  They take painstaking efforts to make sure the business doesnít fail.  Some of these efforts can provide us with a model for a successful gospel meeting.
A successful gospel meeting will require a working church.  Every business tries to find the right combination of workers to assure the business is working like a well-oiled machine.  No we canít hire and fire our members to assure that we have the best set of members to guarantee success.  But, we can understand how important it is that we each are doing our part to help this church prepare for the gospel meeting (as well as any work which we set out to do).  In both the Romans letter and the I Corinthians letter Paul writes about how the church is like a body.  While in context he speaks of the dangers of treating those whom are perceived to be less needed members, there is still a lesson here for the perfectly functioning church.  If you perceive that you are a less needed member you are wrong.  You are needed just as much as whom you might perceive as the most needed member of the church.  Not everyone will be preachers that is true.  But, how can the preacher preach unless he is sent (Rom. 10:15).  Mike Divis will need sent.  He needs you doing your part to help this meeting be successful.
A successful gospel meeting will require a plan for success.  Good business owners set forth goals.  They donít just wing it.  They know what they want to accomplish set down on paper what they hope to accomplish.  We sort of did this when we said we wanted to increase our evangelistic efforts.  Now, how can we do this?  Quite simply to increase means to do more.  If you have not been inviting people to our gospel meetings in the past, then it is time that you start inviting people today.  For the last four years I have issued a challenge to the members of this church to invite at least one person per week to the gospel meeting.  If we did this we will have invited 100 people to the gospel meeting over the course of a month.  According to door to door business models that should mean that 10 people will answer positively to your invitation.  If you have been inviting people, you need to increase your efforts too.  I challenge you to invite at least one more person per week than you have been.  That means you need to invite two people a week if you were only inviting one.  I also challenge you to expand your horizon.  Reach out to people you havenít invited before.  While I am genuinely excited to see familiar faces from the community at our gospel meetings, it is important that we see new faces, new potential converts to Christ.  The truth is many of our frequent visitors have heard the gospel preached.  Several of the preachers that have come for gospel meetings have preached specific sermons meant to teach the gospel to the lost.  There have also been lessons that talked about the function of the church and the authority of the scriptures and so forth.  What this means is that while it is likely that they come again, it does not mean that they are going to hear something that they havenít heard already from you, me, or the visiting preacher.  So, expand.  Just as a new business looks for opportunities to reach out to an untapped client base, we need to be taking the gospel to those that we have yet to share it with. 
While customer recommendations are generally the best way to bring in new cliental, a good business owner does not limit his ďadvertisingĒ to just one source.  He tries to get name recognition in a variety of different ways.  With the meeting coming up, this means that you should be doing more than just inviting people you know to the gospel meeting.  I would encourage you to find other ways to spread the word about the upcoming gospel meeting.  For those of you that use social media, regulating posting about the meeting (say daily) gives an opportunity for all those that follow you (via twitter, Facebook, or other social media outlets).  If you have doctor appointments, need to visit the laundry mat, or going to the public library those are good places to leave the postcard advertisements for the gospel meeting.  It doesnít take much to leave it sitting there on the table before you leave.  The worst that can happen is someone throws it in the trash.  The best that can happen is someone ultimately obeys the gospel.
Again, I realize that the church is not a business, but the best way to teach others the gospel is not to sit and wait for random people to walk in the door.  The best way is for you, me, each of us to get involved in spreading the gospel.  The gospel meeting is less than a month away.  Are you willing to accept the challenge?

Grinnell church of Christ
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Challenge Issued

The Light
Volume 5 Issue 13